• Timothy Crudo Ranked as Leading White Collar Lawyer in 2016 Chambers USA Guide

    Coblentz partner Timothy Crudo is ranked as a Leading Lawyer in the California, Litigation: White Collar Crime & Government Investigations category in Band 4 by Chambers USA.

    Chambers describes Tim as offering “expertise in a broad range of white-collar criminal matters, including securities, antitrust and healthcare fraud.” Clients credit him as a “diligent, knowledgeable, understanding and insightful” attorney who “goes above and beyond” in his representation of clients.

    Tim is a trial lawyer focusing on white collar defense and government enforcement, particularly investigations and cases brought by criminal prosecutors, government regulators, and shareholders in white collar, securities, and corporate governance matters.

    London-based Chambers and Partners conducts intensive, continuous research to identify the world’s leading lawyers and law firms – individual lawyers are ranked (in their practice-areas) on the basis of their legal knowledge and experience, their ability, their effectiveness, and their client-service.

    Categories: News
  • Three Coblentz Real Estate Partners Ranked as Leading Lawyers in 2016 Chambers USA Guide

    Coblentz partners Pam Duffy, Harry O’Brien and Tay Via are listed in the California, Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use category of the 2016 Chambers USA guide, published by Chambers & Partners.

    Pam Duffy is again ranked as a Leading Lawyer in the top tier, Band 1. Clients described Pam to Chambers as “tenacious and smart” and noted she “handles mega projects,” particularly in the healthcare, sports and retail industries. Chambers notes her particular experience in large public and private entity transactions and in-depth understanding of the long-term implications of development requirements and how they affect construction, financing, operation, leasing, and sale of a development project.

    Harry O’Brien is also again ranked as a Leading Lawyer in Band 2. Chambers describes Harry as “well versed in the full spectrum of real estate transactions, including obtaining zoning, land use and CEQA approvals.” Clients report that he “is outstanding in providing good business counsel.” Harry’s transactional real estate, commercial development and land use practice emphasizes representing real estate developers in entitlement, finance and construction of large commercial, residential and institutional development projects and public-private partnerships.

    Tay Via is listed as one of only two Noted Practitioners in the California category. Tay specializes in large public/private projects and represents real estate companies, nonprofit entities, and other businesses, identifying strategies for navigating the increasingly complex real estate development process.

    London-based Chambers and Partners conducts intensive, continuous research to identify the world’s leading lawyers and law firms – individual lawyers are ranked (in their practice-areas) on the basis of their legal knowledge and experience, their ability, their effectiveness, and their client-service.

    Categories: News
  • Coblentz Real Estate Land Use Ranked in Top Tier in 2016 Chambers USA Guide

    Chambers & Partners, publishers of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, has again awarded Coblentz a Band 1 ranking in the Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use – California category.

    According the Chambers, the Coblentz team is known for “a comprehensive real estate offering that maintains a particular strength in obtaining land use, zoning and environmental approvals for development projects,” and has an “especially strong presence in the Bay Area.”

    Chambers quotes clients describing Coblentz as “a very, very strong land use and entitlement firm,” and noting “the firm provides superior services.”

    Partners Pam Duffy and Harry O’Brien are again ranked as leading lawyers in Band 1 and Band 2, respectively, and partner Tay Via is listed as a Noted Practitioner.

    London-based Chambers and Partners conducts intensive, continuous research to identify the world’s leading lawyers and law firms – those who perform best according to the criteria most valued by clients. The process, which extends over several months, includes written submissions, personal interviews, client feedback, and peer assessment.

    Categories: News
  • Coblentz Named to Midsize Hotlist for Third Consecutive Year

    Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP is once again recognized by the National Law Journal’s Midsize Hotlist. This is the third consecutive year the firm has been awarded this recognition, and fourth year overall. The National Law Journal’s elite award recognizes only 20 firms nationally with between 51 and 150 attorneys that not only excel at legal and client service, but “have used their creativity and skill to stay competitive in courtrooms and at deal tables across the U.S.”

    In its profile of Coblentz, the National Law Journal notes the firm’s hand is reflected in major commercial buildings, arts and cultural centers and campus expansions across the Bay Area, “transforming the landscape for more than a century,” and recognizes the firm’s work on recent major projects like Uber Technologies’ purchase of a new Oakland headquarters and the San Francisco Giants and Seawall Lot 337 Associates’ Mission Rock project.

    Also noted is the firm’s expansion into Napa Valley to better serve the wine industry with the opening of two new offices, as well as the development of a new multi-disciplinary social enterprise group to meet the growing needs of social entrepreneurs, and the firm’s pro bono leadership, exemplified by the firm named as “captain” of the upcoming Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights’ election protection program.

    Coblentz has been named to the National Law Journal’s Midsize Hotlist in 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2011.

    Categories: News
  • Supreme Court Decision in Spokeo v. Robins Alters the Landscape for Challenging Standing

    On May 16, 2016, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Spokeo v. Robins, likely making it more difficult for plaintiffs to bring individual or class action lawsuits based on the bare violation of a statutory right.  However, because the Supreme Court merely clarified the standing requirement, and “took no position as to whether . . . Robins adequately alleged an injury in fact,”i the implications of the Court’s decision remains to be seen.

    At first blush, this appears to be a victory for Spokeo, who had argued that Robins only had standing if he suffered an actual, real-world, “palpable” injury.  The Court explained that a plaintiff does not “automatically satisf[y] the injury-in-fact requirement whenever a statute grants a person a statutory right and purports to authorize that person to sue to vindicate that right.”ii However, the Court specified that a “concrete” injury, “is not necessarily synonymous with ‘tangible.'”iii An injury can be “concrete” even if intangible and “difficult to prove or measure.”iv

    As a result, what will constitute concrete injury will be highly dependent on the statutory right allegedly violated.  Where a plaintiff seeks to vindicate a “private,” personal, or individual right, the threshold will likely remain low.v In contrast, where a plaintiff seeks to enforce a “public” right, the standard may become higher, with a plaintiff having standing only if he can “allege that he has suffered a ‘concrete’ injury particular to himself.”vi The new battleground will be whether the alleged violation involves a “public” or private” right.

    Under the guidance articulated by the Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit will likely find that Robins’ allegation that Spokeo provided false information about him involves a “private” right, and that his alleged injuries are sufficiently concrete to confer standing.vii However, Robins’ other FCRA allegations appear to involve “public” rights, and it is unlikely the Ninth Circuit will find that Robins has alleged “concrete” injuries arising from these violations.

    For more information, contact Richard Patch at rpatch@coblentzlaw.com or Skye Langs at slangs@coblentzlaw.com.

    i.  Spokeo v. Robins, No. 13-1339, slip op. at 11 (2016).
    ii.  Id. at 9-10.
    iii.  Id. at 8-9.
    iv.  Id. at 10.
    v.  Id. at 2, 5 (Thomas, J., concurring).
    vi.  Id. at 4, 6 (Thomas, J., concurring).
    vii.  Id. at 7 (Thomas, J., concurring).

  • Coblentz Ranked in Top 50 Firms for Minority Equity Partners

    Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP is ranked nationally by Law360 among the Top 50 Firms for Minority Equity Partners.

    The annual list from Law360 places Coblentz 49th among the nation’s top firms with the highest percentage of minority equity partners. The top 50 firms represent a mix of small, midsize and large firms alike, indicating that diversity is a reachable goal regardless of firm size.

    Categories: News
  • Richard Patch Profiled in Law360 Trial Pros Series

    Coblentz partner Richard Patch was profiled by Law360 in the Trial Pros Q&A series, which showcases the achievements and professional insights of highly successful trial lawyers. In the Q&A, Richard discusses his experiences as a trial attorney, highlights from his career, how he prepares for trial and advice for new litigators.

    Read the Q&A profile here.

    Categories: News
  • Client Alert: The Defend Trade Secrets Act Is Signed Into Federal Law

    On May 11, 2016, President Barack Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act, a culmination of a lengthy bipartisan effort to provide full federal protection to trade secrets.

    The new federal law is an effort to harmonize the current patchwork of state laws protecting trade secrets and create a single nationwide framework for litigating trade secrets disputes. Legal commentators consider the DTSA to be the most significant expansion of federal intellectual property rights since the 1946 passage of the Lanham Act, which provides federal protection to trademarks.

    Under the new law, companies for the first time have the right to file a federal cause of action for trade secret misappropriation. Prior to its passage, civil protection of trade secrets was a creature of state law only. Currently, federal statutes already provide for civil protection of other forms of intellectual property, including copyrights, trademarks, and patents. While most states have adopted some trade secret statute based upon the model trade secrets law, the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, not all have done so, and the statutory provisions they enacted have varied.

    Proponents of the new statute hope that it will allow for the development of more predictable case law, and shift more litigation to federal courts that they believe are better equipped to handle interstate and international trade secrets disputes. Notably, however, the DTSA does not preempt state laws already addressing trade secrets. Rather, it will coexist with state laws and not modify or influence them.

    What does the passage of the statute mean for companies?  First and most importantly, it provides for broader access to the federal court system. Federal courts now have subject matter jurisdiction over trade secret disputes, enabling companies to pursue misappropriation claims there. The law also provides for new and potentially valuable remedies to trade secret owners. For example, its most controversial remedy provides for ex parte seizures of misappropriated trade secrets in extraordinary circumstances, such as if the trade secret owner believes the defendant is about to take the trade secrets out of the country. A plaintiff satisfying its stringent requirements may use law enforcement to seize stolen information without providing advance notice to the defendant. There is no comparable provision in the Uniform Trade Secrets Act or any state law.

    Finally, an aspect of the DTSA that is immediately relevant to companies is its whistleblower provision. The DTSA creates civil and criminal immunity for whistleblowers that disclose trade secrets under certain circumstances. Companies must provide notice of this immunity to employees and contractors in their confidentiality agreements. Those that fail to do so will not be able to utilize all remedies that the DTSA provides, including its provisions for attorneys’ fees and exemplary damages. Companies hoping to benefit fully from the DTSA’s remedies need to amend their confidentiality agreements to comply with this provision.

    For more information, contact Thomas Harvey at tharvey@coblentzlaw.com or Karen Frank at kfrank@coblentzlaw.com.

  • Innovations in Food Delivery

    Innovations in Food Delivery

    Tuesday, May 17, 2016
    5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
    Click here to RSVP.

    Click here to view the invitation.

    Join us for for a panel with leaders in the local Food and Beverage industry to discuss out-of-the-box innovations in food delivery and accessibility.


    Bridget Kwok
    Director of Marketing, Andronico’s Community Markets

    Bridget Kwok is the Director of Marketing at Andronico’s Community Markets in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She is a leader in groundbreaking omni-channel retail marketing partnerships in the supermarket sector and has brought new platforms like Instacart, Shopwell and Sweat.Works on board at Andronico’s.

    Megan Mokri
    Founder and CEO, Byte

    Megan Mokri is CEO and Founder of Byte. Byte uses connected refrigerators to serve fresh, healthy meals and snacks in workplaces, 24 hours per day.  Byte is currently working with companies like 2K Games, Sephora, Chevron, Bain and more.  Megan was previously founder and CEO of 180Eats, a healthy meal delivery business in Marin County.

    Will Rosenzweig
    Dean and Executive Director, The Food Business School of The Culinary Institute of America

    Will Rosenzweig is Dean and Executive Director of the Food Business School of The Culinary Institute of America, as well as a long-time faculty member at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. He was honored with the Oslo Business for Peace Award for his accomplishments in the area of ethical business in 2010. In 2016, Will was recognized as one of the 7 shapers of the future of food by Bon Appetit magazine.

    Moderated by Karen Frank
    Partner, Food & Beverage practice group, Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP

    ABD Insurance & Financial Services
    Steve Leveroni, Executive Vice President

    Barnard/Montague Capital Advisors
    Biff Barnard, Managing Partner
    Jeanne Montague, Managing Partner

    Burr Pilger Mayer
    Jeffery Pearson, Shareholder

    Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP
    Karen Frank, IP Practice Partner
    Paul Escobosa, Business Practice Partner
    Matthew Bove, Real Estate Practice Partner
    Brandi Brown, Business Practice Partner
    Stephen Lanctot, Employment Practice Partner

    Click here to RSVP.

    Categories: Events